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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2019 BMX X5 xDrive40i

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

This week we are reviewing the 2019 BMW X5 xDrive 40i. Our vehicle was assembled in the USA at BMW Spartanburg plant in South Carolina and has an MSRP of $86000 CAD.

Fun Factor: 8

Can it Family: 8

Fuel-Friendly: 7

HWY-warrior: 8

Karaoke Friendly: 8

Baby-friendly: 8

City Cruising: 7

Same time last year we tested our first vehicle driving it through the Alps, it was the BMW xDrive M540i touring, and we were delighted by its overall capacity and space. One year later, we are testing the X5 with that same engine 3.0L 6 cylinder producing 340 HP and 332 lb-ft of torque, sprinting the X5 to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds in our real-life test acceleration we achieved 5.9 seconds to 100km/h with an exhaust note screaming for more to satisfy your ears each time the exhaust crackles & pops. The shifts from the 8 speed automatic are precise and do not require any inputs as shifts quick enough on its own. The X5 was BMW's first attempt to make an SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle) back in 1999; it's built on the same platform as their 5 series. Since then the X5 has grown more muscular and has added to interior refinement. The driving dynamics are not comparable to anything in this segment. Most SUV's in this segment are directly catered to be family haulers and not vehicles that can bring some enjoyment with their driving dynamics. The X5 is as good on the road as off-road, we were able to drive the X540i's cousin, the X5M, on an off-road course and found the agility surprising for a luxury vehicle. We were able to test the car in situations that it would rarely be used on a daily basis, and know if you're stuck in the mud or need to drive downhill and use the downhill control you know that your X5 has your back. The xDrive system will detect wheel spinning and direct all the power to the remaining wheels that have traction; the xOffroad package is a must if you want to conquer what mother nature has to offer.

The X5 gives you lots of space, so much of it that even the tallest adults will have space in the rear if you want to be chauffeured around, yes it's that comfortable that we enjoyed more being in the rear than as a passenger, driving it is still more thrilling, no trading any space for the driving experience. Going back to those rear seats, 3 adults will enjoy comfortable, roomy seating. The middle seat might be a little smaller; however, not enough to need to squeeze in between the other 2 passengers. 3 kids will love all the room they get the rear seats, they will appreciate the sun shades in the back so that your little ones don't get the sun in there eyes directly while driving around. The driver seat and co-pilot seats are easily adjustable for different types of body size. Even smaller driver will find an ergonomically comfortable position, something that isn't always simple in larger vehicles. Amenities are plentiful in the X5 starting with the heated and cooled cup holder, yes you get heated and cooled cup holders to keep your drinks nice and toasty or fresh for the summer. Naturally, you also get heated seats for the front passengers and the rears ones. We just wish that at that price point the cooled seats would be offered standard or at least included in the luxury package. The rear seats also offer the possibility to attach tables into the head rest and offer USB-C outlets to charge your devices to make it future proof for all of your devices. The heads up display offered in the X5 is similar to other BMW products, and we really find it easy to read, the only down side is if you're using polarized sun glasses it will hard to read. Overall the cabin of the X5 is one where either as a driver and passenger you'll enjoy the experience day in, day out. The trunk of the X5 will have enough storage to bring multiple strollers in the trunk while still having enough space in it. We even got to transport a fully built Swedish play kitchen. For those that are too lazy to store your parcel shelf or if it's in your way when transporting larger items, BMW has the product for you; with a touch of a button, you can store the parcel shelf underneath the loading floor seams without taking away additional space. The new X5 keeps the 2 sections tailgate and also offers an adjustable suspension to lower the car if you carry larger items.

How's the fuel consumption of the X5? We've achieved an average consumption of 11.3L per 100km, BMW announces a result of 10.5L per 100km for a combined result. In our test, we've achieved 13.6L per 100km in the city and 8.5L per 100km on the HWY. At the time of writing this article the official fuel consumption for the city and HWY wasn't available. Even driving the X5 with lots of enjoyment the fuel consumption was very close to the amount announced by BMW when it came to the average fuel consumption. The fuel used was 91 Octane fuel for our test as this is the required fuel type for this X5. Our test vehicle was rocking massive 21 inch tires (275/40/R21 in front and 315/35/R21 in the rear).

We found the gas consumption on the HWY suitable for this type of vehicle and performance. The interior comfort made it a delight driving uphill and downhill with a little taste of winding roads towards the Eastern Townships provided a similar scenic and driving enjoyment you would find on European roads. It certainly helps to be on massive 21inch run flats, surprisingly this didn't affect the ride quality in any way, this is thanks to Adaptive 2-Axle Air Suspension that can be adjusted manually from the drivers console, BMW claims at speeds of over 138km/h the ride automatically lowers itself by 20 mm, since the local speed limits didn't allow it we weren't able to test it. The seating offers unparallel comfort for this type of vehicle never feeling any discomfort while driving longer stretches; it helps that the headrests almost feels like a pillow. The X5 handles precisely & effortlessly when taking corners and never feels its size nor weight. In case you need some relaxation you can turn on the Driving assistant professional while sitting in the traffic giving you extended times without having to put your hand on the steering wheel. The X5 not only offers front collision warning it also offers rear collision warning as well in those cases where a last-minute manoeuvre may be needed. What we liked less is the lane keep assist that felt like it was moving from the left line to the right line and never getting that perfect apex. At night the interior light looks very stylish however we felt that in certain instances it lighted up the cabin a little too much while driving on roads with poor lighting. It may be enjoyable for your passengers as they may find items around them a lot easier. The heads up display also makes the driving experience enjoyable especially when using BMW integrated maps with the new BMW iDrive 7, similar to the BMW 330i we tested recently. Talking about the new system, our car was also outfitted with a very useful option that provides night vision with the possibility to recognize pedestrians.

The sound system of the X5 provides a pleasant experience. We can't complain about the optional Harman Kardon sound system in the X5 as it will satisfy your needs. The playback of different types of music are well-calibrated and offer a rich sound; the bass could be slightly improved; however, this would be nitpicking on an overall good sound system. The X5 offers wireless charging and wireless connectivity for Apple Car Play; we found this very handy as it will remove the need to have any type of cables in the car and gives the interior vehicle it's refined German charm and attention to details. On the other hand, Android Auto is still not offered on BMW products at this time. The massive 12.3-inch screen either projects your IOS device onto the screen or offers you unparalleled information that can be split into multiple screens and display any of the four layouts on it. Such as fuel consumption, maps, weather, news. On the topic of fuel consumption if you're heading out on a road trip and unsure of your vehicles range you can open BMW Connected App on your wireless devices and see how far you can go without refuelling while at the same time planning your route directly from your phone and when you'll enter the car the navigation will be ready for you. Skipping songs, increasing volume can be done with a gesture control, it seems to be more of a gimmick at first, however, when you start using it, you can't stop using it. What we like on the X5 is that the physical buttons are laid out logically and feel the quality craftsmanship.

The X5 offer well-designed ISOFIX ports; in our opinion, these should be the norm; they are hidden by a small latch and can be closed when not in use. The ports are also easily accessible, no need to try to find them, they are very easy to see and then to attach the seat itself. In our test, we attached a maximum of 2 car seats as it only presents 4 ports for 2 cars seats, the middle seat can however still be used with a booster seat and will still have enough space. The door opening is wide enough to get any large child seat quickly into the car. We suggest if you do wish to keep the leather without traces of car seat ever being installed to add a cover underneath your car seat to have to seat looking fresh for an extended period as the leather is very flexible and is oriented to comfort and hug the occupants. As for a toddler entering the car by themselves, the height of the car makes it a bit harder for them to reach the door handle to open it by themselves, once the door is open, the door sills design with a natural access point to give them access to the rear seats. The car also includes manual sunshades integrated into the window to protect your children from direct sunlight even if you have your windows open. Due to the fact that the door opens wide, it will also be more challenging for them to close the door on their own. Our car was also equipped with soft close; this was certainly enjoyable for all the kids that as they didn't need to slam the door to close it. Just by bringing the door close enough to shut the door, it should finish the closing processes on its own. This is certainly a very useful option if you don't want your neighbors to hear you coming home late after a long weekend at your cabin if you live in the city during the week.

How does the X5 handle in the city, for starters the ride quality is excellent thanks due to the air suspension, the vehicle never felt unstable on uneven surfaces. Parking the massive X5 is also simple as it's equipped with a 360 degree camera, included in that system is also a reverse function in case you've attempted to adventure yourself in a narrow alley and then find out that there isn't enough space to turn around, you can activate this function and the X5 will reverse itself up to 50 meters using your previous steering inputs. What we found less convenient is the parking assistance, in our test the vehicle would engage reverse and suddenly stop the maneuver or in some cases would tell me to park and would just no engage after finding a spot. We found that the system in other luxury brands is easier to use and have a higher success rate of actually parking. Thanks to all the camera's it is very simple to park the car without the aids, the camera's will adjust themselves to give you the best angle of sight to make sure you can use as much of parking real estate as possible.

Why would we buy the BMW X5 and what we like: The exciting driving experience and the comfort for driver and passengers. Easy to install car seats. Excellent visibility at night, thanks to the laser lights and the night vision. Ride quality is excellent due to the air suspension that is standard on all X5 models.

Why wouldn't we buy the BMW X5 and what we didn't like: The missing cooling seat option at this price point, it's only available with the 16500S Premium Excellence package. Plug-in Hybrid version is not yet availible with the updated version of the X5.

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